Archive for the doom Category

Concert: Baroness/Pallbearer (kind of, 9/1, The Cabooze, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, concerts, doom, doom metal, georgia, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, sludge metal, united states with tags , , , , , , on September 1, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

The other night, I decided to go see Baroness with Pallbearer, because I actually do like Baroness (a friend said he was surprised to see me there). I used to not like them at all, but a switch flipped somewhere in my brain a couple of years ago and now I really like them a lot, despite the fact that they aren’t really metal anymore.

This was my first show at the Cabooze, and I have to say that the layout of that place is a puzzle to me. The stage is located in a very awkward place in relation to the main bar, which sort of sits right in the middle of the room, and the room is very long, making it to where you pretty much have to go outside and walk around the building to get into the bathrooms, which are up near the front. I’m not crazy about it, and one guy (he was a customer, I think, not someone who worked there, he was just talking to a person who worked there), was really kind of snippy and rude with me when I was trying to figure out how to get to the bathrooms (I had never been there before! I was alone, and confused!). Parking was also not easy to come by; of course, I did end up getting there late. Fortunately, there is street parking available in the neighborhood, so it’s manageable, you just have to be willing to park and walk a bit.

All this occurred after I got off work for the night, and since that coincided with the start of the show, by the time I got to the venue and found parking I’d all but completely missed Pallbearer. All I saw of their set was the last half of the last song, which happened to be “The Foreigner” and therefore my favorite part of my favorite Pallbearer song. So that worked out ok.

A little bit later, Baroness took the stage. I had never seen them before, and after their horrible accident back in 2012 I thought I’d never get the chance to. It was shortly after that, actually, that I really started listening to Baroness. The band was in seemingly great spirits and sounded great, and the crowd was very responsive. It was a little weird because I only knew a couple of people there, but the energy all around was great.

20160823_211811[1]

Baroness

20160823_212843[1]

A better shot

As seems to be the case with most of the shows I’ve been to as of late, Baroness didn’t play a lot of their older material, sticking with Yellow/Green and Purple mostly. Which makes sense and is fine, but is sort of a letdown when the Red album is your favorite. They did play “Isak,” however, which is my favorite song from their whole catalog, so I can’t really complain. Some of the highlights of the setlist were “Shock Me,” “March to the Sea,” and the opening theme from the Green album, which was cool (I didn’t know they were going to do instrumental songs).

20160823_213308[1]

Mr. Baizley. Also, props to whoever was on the lights- they were coordinating well with the album colors

I didn’t pick up any merch this time, primarily because I was going to see Shining with Belphegor the next night and figured I’d be spending money at that merch booth (spoiler alert: I did), but also because I wasn’t about to try to fight my way over to the merch table in that venue. Which is kind of lame, because at some point I would like to acquire a print of some of John Baizley’s artwork. Alas, this night was not the night.

Baroness played a wonderful set, and it’s too bad I had to pretty much miss Pallbearer (I have seen them before, but not for a couple of years. They seem to come here fairly often though, so maybe I’ll get to catch an updated Pallbearer set soon). I’m glad that Baroness’ first foray back up to my neck of the woods since their revival went as well as it did, and I look forward to seeing them again.

-H

Hagalaz’ Favorite Albums of 2015

Posted in 2015, best of, black metal, doom, doom metal, drone metal, finland, funeral doom, marduk, melechesh, orthodox black metal, sweden, traditional heavy metal, war metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

The other day, I was thinking of catch-up posts I needed to do and I thought, “Oh! I’ll do a post about my favorite albums of 2015!” I didn’t plan on it needing to be ten or eleven like I normally do because… it’s almost six months late, so why do you care? But then, lo, there were that many, so the list is eleven after all.

So without further ado, in mostly random order, my favorites of 2015.

11. Ghost – Meliora

After the huge fanfare for Infestissumam (and there was a lot of it. Remember when Ghost released those sex toys?), there was practically none for its follow-up. Really. I didn’t even know this album was out until about a week after it dropped, and I worked at a metal record store. Meliora feels like a throwback in a way; it’s more stripped down in the way that Opus Eponymous was, and I dare say a little heavier than its predecessors, “Cirice” feels almost doomy.

Favorite Tracks: He Is, Absolution

[Here’s Ghost playing “He Is” with the grandpas guitars.]

 

10. Sunn O))) – Kannon

Sunn O))) near the end of the year released their first full-length album (not with Ulver) since 2009’s Monoliths and Dimensions (which is absolutely, stupidly, dumbfoundingly awesome). Clocking in at barely over a half hour, Kannon is over a whole lot faster than you would hope (if you’re me), but that’s literally my only complaint about it. Here’s to Attila doing more crazy things with his throat!

H’s Favorite Track: Kannon, Pt. 3

 

9. Baroness – Purple

I was stupidly happy to hear that Baroness would have a new album out; after their terrible bus crash in 2012, I would not have been surprised if they never put out another album. Purple is a return to a heavier sound, and it simultaneously incorporates a lot of new sounds and styles, like in “Shock Me” and “If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain).” J thinks that 2012’s Yellow & Green may prove to be a transitional album if the band continues in this vein, and it will be interesting to see where Baroness goes from here.

Favorite Tracks: Shock Me, Kerosene

 

8. Melechesh – Enki

Melechesh is one of those bands that I think is really cool and innovative and doesn’t get nearly enough attention. 2010’s The Epigenesis was when they got the production budget to really hit their peak, and I wasn’t sure that they would be able to top it, but Enki definitely does. It’s tight, fast, full of fun shifting drum patterns and Eastern-influenced riffing and instrumentation. Now if we can just get them to tour here again… or headline…

Favorite Tracks: Tempest Temper Enlil Enraged, Doorways to Irkala

[And this is just track one.]

 

8. Shape of Despair – Monotony Fields

I was also very excited to hear that Shape of Despair had a new album coming out. Angels of Distress is one of the most upsetting albums I know- it’s beautiful, but it really is distressing. Monotony Fields (there’s one that came out between them that I didn’t know about! I will have to get on that) is another treatise in funeral doom the way it should be done- it’s bleak and slow-moving with some awesome keyboard parts. It’s also got some surprising turns- “Descending Inner Light” is almost joyful. For funeral doom. Which is really kind of the opposite of joyful. Huh.

Favorite Tracks: The Distant Dreams of Life, In Longing

[Here’s another track, because there are entirely too many high points on this album]

 

6. Saturnalia Temple – To The Other

Speaking of doom- Saturnalia Temple’s To The Other really is like gazing into the Void. Creepy, heavy, and just plain downright daunting (smothering?), this album reminds me of all of the ugliness and sonic twistedness of something like Teitanblood, but slower. Much. Much. Slower. It’s sort of like being slapped with a sledgehammer. But in a good way.

Favorite Tracks: ZazelSorath, To the Other

[Enjoy your nightmares.]

 

5. Shining – IX: Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends

Shining released their ninth full-length album last year, called Everyone, Everything, Everywhere, Ends. This new album features an introductory track that is entirely fugue-like classical riffing, and later employs the use of a sitar. Say what you will about their stage antics and the general notoriety of vocalist Niklas Kvarforth, Shining remains, in my opinion, one of the most innovative black metal bands currently out there.

Favorite Tracks: Den påtvingade tvåsamheten, Besök från i(ho)nom

 

4. Mgła – Exercises in Futility

Mgła also returned with an offering every bit as good as everyone expected it to be. While I am still very partial to With Hearts Towards None, Exercises in Futility proves that Mgła is not slacking and is easily one of the best black metal releases of last year, even if it doesn’t really break any new ground. Blending old school style with third-wave melody, Mgła’s albums are consistently solid and enjoyable.

Favorite Tracks: IV, VI

 

3. Marduk – Frontschwein

2015 also saw the return of Marduk, and specifically the return of Marduk playing war music. Not to say that their past several albums haven’t been absolutely fantastic in their focus on Biblical/apocalyptic imagery, but let’s face it, war is kind of what they’re known for. Frontschwein does not disappoint, bringing in some of the best reviews that Marduk has seen in years and proving that black metal’s war machine hasn’t sacrificed any of their brutality.

Favorite Tracks: Nebelwerfer, 503

[Yes. That’s a tambourine.]

 

2. Amorphis – Under the Red Cloud

This is the weird one on the list. I have never listened to Amorphis before last year. At all. Basically, Shane just played it a lot at the record store and it really grew on me. While not typically the sort of thing that I listen to with any amount of frequency, Amorphis’ Under the Red Cloud is, I think, easily one of my favorite albums of 2015.

Favorite Tracks: Death of a King, Tree of Ages

[Again. There isn’t a bad song on this one either.]

 

1. Clandestine Blaze – New Golgotha Rising

My number one album of 2015 is actually a black metal album this year. If you’re not familiar with Clandestine Blaze, you should be, and if those vocals sound familiar… well, that would probably be because Deathspell Omega also channels their works through Mikko Aspa’s vocal chords. Only here he does everything. New Golgotha Rising is, on the surface, a relatively straightforward raw black metal album, but the more I listen to it, the more I find that it shifts around beneath the surface, like some kind of parasite in a sci-fi horror film. All of Clandestine Blaze’s catalog is seriously good stuff, but this new one is one of my favorites.

Favorite Tracks: (All of it, ya goofs, but if I have to pick,) Evocation Under Starlit Sky, Passage to New Creed

[I wanted to post this track because it does a good job of showing off that slippery riffage that Clandestine Blaze does so well.]

So there is a list of stuff I liked last year. Because dudes, I already had eleven. Which is why Enforcer isn’t on there along with other notable exceptions, and there’s still stuff I need to catch up on (Arcturus). The back catalog on the stuff I need to catch up on is huge. But, here is the stuff I was jamming a bunch last year for you to peruse while I try to stay on top of this year (new Rotting Christ is incredible, and Behexen and Inquisition’s new stuff is sounding really, really good).

Until next time…

-H

 

 

Concert: Abbath/High on Fire/Skeletonwitch/Tribulation/False (4/7, Mill City Nights, Mpls, MN)

Posted in 2016, black metal, blackened thrash, concerts, doom, doom metal, mill city nights, minneapolis, minneapolis/st. paul, norway, tours, true norwegian black metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2016 by blackmetallurgy

Decibel’s lineups for their annual tour never disappoint, and when I saw that Abbath was headlining this year’s edition there was no way I was going to miss. (I also never got to see Immortal, so there is that.) I was also really excited for the chance to see High On Fire, whom I have never seen despite the fact that it feels like they play here every other month, and Tribulation, whom I have also never seen.

My overall excitement was flagged a little by the fact that it was on a night I had class, so I GUESS I WILL JUST MISS TRIBULATION AGAIN. Someday. Someday I will see them. (Seriously. Every. Freaking. Time. Which deity did I piss off for this to happen? The one that governs graduate students? Because after seven years of grad school I believe that there is a malevolent deity in charge of it.)

Ahem. Anyway. I had class, so I had to arrive late and I got there about midway through Skeletonwitch’s set. Admittedly, I didn’t pay very good attention; I like Skeletonwitch fine, but I’m always a little distracted when I have to walk in on something halfway through. I wasn’t aware that their lineup had changed so much, as I’m only the most casual of fans, but I was impressed with their new vocalist. I saw enough of their set to hear a range of songs, including “Beyond the Permafrost” and a brand new track.

I didn’t get any pictures though, because I forgot that I am now snapping terrible pictures until later on in the evening. Whoops.

Next up was High On Fire, which was long overdue for me. They play here a lot, but I always have something else going on and never get to actually go. I have seen Sleep, but I hadn’t seen High On Fire, which is silly. They played “Speedwolf” and “Rumors of War,” and I noted that Matt Pike still hasn’t found his shirt, which means that God is still in his heaven and all is still right with the world.

20160407_221457[1]

I was back sorta far, which was ok, because there was much moshing. 

20160407_221505[1]

Doom.

Then was Abbath, who came out to a crazy, weird-sounding thing that was not unlike a movie soundtrack, which made me giggle. They opened with “To War,” which makes logical sense as the opening track on the new album, and then I got to deal with the crushing reality of the fact that Abbath and King ov Hell were less than twenty yards away from me. From that point on my brain kind of went into a weird euphoria and I spent the rest of the night alternating between singing along and screaming like a little girl in sheer excitement.

20160407_233116[1]

King ov Hell and his glorious hair

20160407_233126[1]

Dudes

20160407_233903[1]

You can see Creature if you squint hard. This is about the best my little phone camera can do

20160408_004114[1]

ABBATH!

Because I knew that they were going to play Immortal songs going in, but I didn’t expect damn near half the set to be Immortal songs. It was nuts. They pretty much alternated between the two all night. Most of the Abbath album got covered (“Fenrir Hunts” is fantastic live, by the way), and even though, with the exception of “Nebular Ravens Winter,” they didn’t play anything older than At the Heart of Winter, any Immortal is better than the alternative, which for me was never seeing anyone in Immortal play Immortal songs ever, and thus it was that I left that show a much happier person than I was when I went in. Also because they played “Solarfall,” and that’s about the point where my brain melted out my ears.

I admit, I had had a long and trying day and was very tired when I went to this show, and that paired with the knowledge that I’d be missing Tribulation again kind of put a damper on the start of my night. But I left there happier than I have been post-concert since that time I saw Mayhem and Watain on the same night. Holy crap. And if you think I’ve been doing anything but listening to black metal for a solid week now you’re kidding yourself.

Also, I missed our local False, who opened the show, and I just have to say- props to Decibel for letting those guys open. I don’t think that local bands get to open very many of the shows on the Decibel tour (and I understand why; there are always a lot of bands already playing), and it’s super cool that False was able to open for this. It’s also super lame that I missed it, but… well.

And let it be known, that the next day, in early April in Mpls/St. Paul, MN, we got heavy snow dumped on us all day. It didn’t stick, because the ground was too warm, but it’s worth noting that Abbath came to our cities in April and gifted us with a mini-blizzard.

-Hagalaz

 

 

Concert: Sargeist/Acid Witch/Empyreus/Strix Nebulosa/Jex Thoth (7/6, Beat Kitchen, Chicago)

Posted in black metal, chicago, concerts, death metal, doom, finland, orthodox black metal, psychedelic rock, retro occult rock, satan, underground, united states, USBM with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

***NOTE: Alas, there are no vids this time. For some reason, WordPress (or this post in particular, perhaps) is not letting me embed videos. So I don’t have those for you. I do have a few pictures from the shows, but they aren’t all uploaded on my computer so I will have to do a follow up post of those.***

Night two of my and A’s black metal weekend was a significantly longer bill, featuring a wide range of music. I was a bit in shock that I was going to get to see Sargeist- I figured that would never happen, even less of a chance than Behexen. Also, I was looking forward to seeing Acid Witch as A really loves them, as well as Jex Thoth, because I have fallen pretty hard for that weird 60s occult rock stuff. The crowd was also substantially bigger than the previous night; I think a lot of people were there for Acid Witch, as they don’t seem to play live often. Also, as I mentioned before, I think Sargeist live is an even rarer event than Behexen.

The show started off with Jex Thoth, who danced up on stage wearing a Red Riding Hood-like cape (I have a similar one, actually!) and carrying burning sage. As much as I love my black metal, I’d say that she was seriously in danger of stealing the show- the crowd adored her, and she would often jump down into the crowd to give people sage to hold and to whisper in certain people’s ears. For me, the performance was really cool because it was such a huge contrast to The Devil’s Blood- Jex Thoth is constantly in movement when she’s performing in direct contrast with The Mouth of Satan- even though the music evokes the same era. It was very cool to see the Satanic 60s depicted in a different way.

Next up was Strix Nebulosa. Their approach to black metal was an interesting one considering the crowd- these guys seem to use a more pagan, nature-y commentary on the genre as opposed to a Satanic one. When the vocalist announced that “there is no God, no Satan, only Nature,” A and I exchanged looks; them’s strong words in that crowd. I missed the very first part of Strix Nebulosa’s set, but ended up catching most of it, and I have to say that I enjoyed what I saw. It’s not easy to pull off two-man black metal, and they managed to do it well.

The next band was a local Chicago band called Empyreus, whom I really enjoyed. Empyreus’ style of black metal was more bombastic than Strix Nubulosa’s, and you could tell that this group had been playing together for quite a while. I saw a number of people in the crowd sporting their shirts, so they clearly are well known locally. Their original stuff was excellent, and as an added surprise they played a very well received cover of Celtic Frost’s “Morbid Tales.”

After Empyreus, we switched gears entirely, moving on to the deathy doom of Acid Witch. As I mentioned above, I never really listened to Acid Witch, but considering that horror movies are my other big geekery, I am officially a fan now. Their use of synth is really cool, and I love the cackles that the vocalist throws in. Unfortunately, there seemed to be some miscommunication between the band and the venue in terms of how much time they had- Acid Witch had two more songs to play when they were told they had to stop. The crowd was upset, as seeing Acid Witch play is seemingly a rarer occurrence than I had realized, but in the interest of not pissing off the Finns (they don’t seem like the type you’d want to piss off), it was probably for the best. The guys from Acid Witch were also super cool and very professional about the whole thing, and I enjoyed getting to talk horror movie soundtracks briefly with them.

Finally, Sargeist took the stage, plunging us once again into Satan sans the Sam Rami-esque camp. By this point my neck was starting to get understandably sore (I haven’t done two nights in a row in quite a while), but I couldn’t help but bang my head anyway. My heart jumped up in my throat when they played songs that I knew from listening sessions with J, and it was cool to see several of the same guys in a slightly different element than the previous night. I assumed that they would just use the same members for each night, but turns out they brought the whole crew- while Shatraug (guitar), Horns (drums), and Hoath Torog (vocals) were back for round two, another guitarist and bassist joined them on stage.

Sargeist started out with “Satanic Black Devotion,” and also played “Black Fucking Murder” from the same album. After the show, a couple of friends of mine suggested that hearing “Let the Devil In” would have made the night just that much better, but damn if it wasn’t a hell of a show anyway. Sargeist played a little bit longer than Behexen did the night before, but the night was still entirely too short. On the way out, I thanked Shatraug for the wonderful weekend and wished him and the bands safe travels on their tour before heading back to the hotel for a much needed shower and to split a bottle of Surly Pentagram with A.

As I mentioned last time, Sargeist was completely out of merch, so I didn’t end up getting anything from them but the patch from the night before (which is good, honestly- it meant I had gas money to get back to the Cities). I ended up with a Jex Thoth shirt. The merch guy asked if it was ok if it had European tour dates from 2012 on the back, and I said sure, that I thought the little demon dude on the front was cute. He reminds me of Clive Barker’s artwork, or of the little wolf dude from the new Arckanum record.

20140717_164651

A little blurry. But you get the picture (no pun intended)

Europe dates I didn't go to

Europe dates I didn’t go to

Overall, it was a killer weekend, and I’m very happy that I finally mustered up the courage to get down to Chicago to see someone. The trip down, I learned, is actually not all that bad, although the construction outside of Chicago (which I’m told has been there for a couple of years) was a real pain. I’ve never been to a city the size of Chicago, and I still haven’t really considering that A and I acted like stereotypical black metal fans and didn’t really leave our hotel, but considering the shootings that went on that weekend that’s probably for the best. Despite that, I know now that it’s not the worst drive to get down there, especially if we leave early, and that Chicago is a perfectly reasonable destination to travel to for concerts.

Also, I saw two bands that I never thought I’d get to see live, and they were incredible. This weekend helped remind me of why I love black metal so much, and I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity to see Sargeist and Behexen.

Infernal hails!

-Hagalaz

 

 

Gratuitous Birthday Playlist 2014

Posted in 2014, black metal, blackened death metal, death metal, doom, local, mayhem, musings, stoner metal, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

Well. This is late, and it’s late because I was busy being the birthday girl, something I don’t get to do very often because for some reason I’m always out of town on my birthday. But this year I wasn’t, and I spent a glorious evening with A at the HammerHeart Brewery followed by more hangs the next day with coworkers. And then I’ve been in Chicago, seeing Behexen (!) and Sargeist (!), which I will rave about soon enough.
However, here it is. My gratuitous birthday playlist for 2014!

***

1. Behemoth- O Father, O Satan, O Sun

I really love Behemoth’s new album, and I’m going to be working up a review for it soon. Suffice it to say for now that this song hits me right in the feels.

2. Iron Maiden- The Evil That Men Do

I kind of skipped Iron Maiden, having plummeted face first into symphonic black metal (I grew up on classical music. It was a natural progression). However, countless hours of listening to Maiden at DJ night over the past year has shown me the error of my ways, and I’m devouring this stuff like candy lately.

3. Behexen- Death’s Black Light

Behexen is on here because holy crap I got to see them the other night. That’s nuts. I never thought that would happen. They played this song too…

4. Sargeist- Let the Devil In

Also Sargeist. In terms of things I never thought I’d see live, they rank slightly higher than Behexen.

5. Arckanum- Þjóbaugvittr

I’ve been listening to a lot of Arckanum lately too. I love how meditative it is- the music is atmospheric and repetitive, but the subtleties in the melodies ensure that it never gets boring. Plus, Shamaatae is one of the most interesting figures in black metal to me, and I feel like Arckanum often gets overlooked.

6. Mayhem- Watchers

Y’all know already about me and Mayhem. Just like any long-time fan, I held my breath until I heard their new album, and was pleased to find that I loved it. Especially this song. Those riffs.

7. King Diamond- A Mansion in Darkness

Having secured my King Diamond ticket for St. Louis (!!!), I have also been listening to a lot of his solo work recently. I know Mercyful Fate much better, and I decided that it was nigh time I made myself more familiar with the King himself. This is probably my favorite track on Abigail– I love haunted houses.

8. Sleep- Dragonaut

My all-time favorite Sleep song. Dat bass. Dat doom.

9. Teitanblood- Silence of the Great Martyrs

We’re only halfway through, so I have yet to know for sure, but Teitanblood’s new one, Death, just might be my favorite album this year.

10. House of Atreus- Bastards on the Hillside

I’ve also been jamming out a lot to local legends (and good friends of mine) House of Atreus. Their new EP is brilliant stuff, and I have a review lying around here somewhere that I need to get edited…

11. Dissection- Dark Mother Divine

Shut up. I like this album.

***
So that’s it. My birfday playlist for THIS year. Watch this space- like I said, I’m in the editing stages of my House of Atreus review, and about to start on one for the new Behemoth. I got bit by the black metal bug BAD this past weekend, so I’m probably going to be churning out stuff more frequently again (also I will try to get up a review for the shows I saw in Chi-Town last week).
Ave!
-Hagalaz

Hagalaz’ Top 10 Not-Just-Black-Metal Albums of 2013

Posted in best of, black metal, burning fist, death metal, doom, doom metal, folk metal, grindcore, retro occult rock, sludge metal, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2014 by blackmetallurgy

… Is posted over at Burning Fist. Go read it! And then listen to In Solitude and Satan’s Host! And listen to the new Carcass again (as though you needed any persuading to do that).

-Hagalaz

Review: Vollmond- Rituals of Conquest

Posted in black metal, blackened doom, concerts, doom, italy, underground with tags , , , , , , on November 10, 2013 by blackmetallurgy

Although I’m fairly new to the concept, space and black metal go brilliantly together. Someone posted this link on reddit the other day, which kind of made my day, and then I got my hands on the new Vollmond release, and it’s as spectacular as the cosmos in black metal form gets.

Vollmond, which is German for “full moon,” is an Italian band whose doomy black metal music centers largely on occultism and the cosmos. And that is the feel that I get from their newest album, Rituals of Conquest. This beautiful sophomore release truly is perfect stargazing music.

The album begins with Dawn of the Limitless Fire, a melodic and soaring piece that reminds me a lot of Blut Aus Nord’s Memoria Vetusta: A Dialogue With The Stars only with good drums (it’s a lovely album. One of my favorites. And the electronic drums on it are abysmal). After this track, the album takes a noticeably dark turn with Mournful Ascension. This track is a 10:44 long epic with an amazing guitar solo beginning at 4:41. Although it’s the longest track on the album it never gets stale, shifting through its various components in a fluid manner.

[Perfect for summer nights under the stars]

The album also features a couple of instrumentals, which is awesome, especially considering Vollmond’s obvious knack for soundscapes. Perhaps the oddest track on the album is the title track, which utilizes spoken vocals for most of the song. This track also feels to me like it has a DSBM feel to it, and the mixture of slow/fast with clean/death vocals really makes for a good balance.

[LOVE this one]

Rituals of Conquest, like a lot of third-wave black metal albums, utilizes lots of broken chords to get a starry, twinkling feel. Bell-toned guitars also lend the music a chime-like affect. However, Vollmond also throws in some traditional black metal elements as well, like tremolo picking and the occasional dissonant tri-tone. The affect is an innovative mix of old and new that still manages to sound pretty while remaining very dark and powerful.

The album artwork for Rituals of Conquest it fitting for the music itself; stars and constellations adorn the CD and liner notes.

Front cover.

Front cover.

Stars! Pretty sure I've seen some of these guys at night in Oklahoma.

Stars! Pretty sure I’ve seen some of these guys at night in Oklahoma.

The CD itself also showcases several constellations.

 Rituals of Conquest is a great little album, eerie and at times downright lovely. Try to find a copy of it if you can; you won’t regret it.

5/5

Hagalaz’ Favorite Tracks
Dawn of the Limitless Fire
Engravings
Death Manifestation

**Very special thanks to Ars Magna Recordings for your support and for giving me the opportunity to review some things for you.